New Apps Worth Downloading: Tracks, White Pages, High Stakes Politics

by Phil Hornshaw

A couple of today’s new apps will be handy if you have a week of social activities ahead of you. Tracks is all about sharing photos and creating group albums with your friends, while WhitePages is packed with information about businesses and people in your area. High Stakes Politics can give you a breather from the upcoming presidential election, by turning your knowledge of government (and government scandals) into a game.

Tracks (Free)

TracksWhat’s it about? Create shared photo albums with friends in an easy-to-use social network. When you and your friends take photos of an event (or whatever), you can all share them together to create an album called a Track, and there are other social features centered around sharing and viewing photos with your pals.

What’s cool? There are quite a few apps that allow you to share photos, both individually and in albums with friends, so Tracks is expanding into other social areas related to the idea. One is Joinable Tracks, which are groups of public photos with a unifying topic, which you can follow and view and to which you can even contribute. Magic Tracks lets the app pull photos from your device and automatically make albums out of them.

Who’s it for? Take a lot of photos? Spend a lot of time snapping shots with your friends? Tracks was designed for you. Grab the app, add a few friends, and you can share all those images in some fun and collaborative ways.

What’s it like? The social network elephant in the room, Facebook, is at least similar in a few ways to Tracks, as are some other photo-sharing apps, such as PhotoCircle.

WhitePages (Free)

WhitePagesWhat’s it about? With all the information about a given area you expect to find in a phone book, WhitePages provides restaurant info and menus, phone numbers and addresses for businesses, and a local search option that can help you find the stores for which you’re looking.

What’s cool? The newly updated WhitePages packs a number of handy features. Among the most interesting are the ability connect with your neighbors with the app’s new Nearby People feature, and other social options like sharing your destinations with friends via Twitter and Facebook while you’re out. There’s also an unlimited premium phone number lookup service that lets you see who’s calling you.

Who’s it for? Anyone who can benefit from information. Lifehacker has named WhitePages one of the best app for increasing productivity, and if you’re looking to find people or places near you (or elsewhere), WhitePages is a good place to start.

What’s it like? Apps such as Yelp and foursquare provide some of the same information about businesses, along with user reviews that can give you an idea of what to expect. You can also get some of the snazzy reverse phone lookup capabilities from Reverse Genie.

High Stakes Politics (Free)

High Stakes PoliticsWhat’s it about? High Stakes Politics combines a political trivia game with betting fake currency, creating the “high stakes” situation noted in the title. The game ranks your accuracy over time, which allows you to bet more and more “money,” and you can use special Lifeline-style features that will help you eliminate wrong answers and give extra hints.

What’s cool? There’s quite a bit of political knowledge stored in this game, and for the most part, it seems accurate. Ranging from the ins and outs of how the presidential election works, to the various scandals that have been big in the news in the last few years, High Stakes Politics covers a lot of ground. It also presents everything, from questions about budget to questions about presidential affairs, with a light-hearted, irreverent tone that makes it pretty funny.

Who’s it for? Fans of politics who would like a break from the more intense parts of the upcoming U.S. presidential election, this is an app that can be a lot of fun. It’ll test your knowledge on lots of different things -- some of which are based on issues or important government knowledge, some not -- but overall, the game is quirky and informative.

What’s it like? Other trivia games such as Speed Trivia and Who Becomes Rich can be a lot of fun, but they don’t always have the political bent that High Stakes Politics does. For more political info, try Politcal Junkie and NPR News & Politics Podcaster.

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